Monday, January 13, 2014

The Animal I've Become

Expected Published:  January 28th, 2014
Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2)
By: Megan Shepherd
Balzar + Bray
ISBN-13:  9780062128058

To defeat darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping from her father's island - and the secrets she behind.  Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau's horrific legacy -- though someone, or something, hasn't forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father's creations may have also escaped the island.  She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger.  Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer -- Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.


     Juliet thought that she might be able to have some semblance of a normal life after she left the island behind - along with all its twisted 'experiments', the creatures and her now dead father.  She is starting to become part of polite society again and has been taken under the wing of Professor Von Stein, her father's former colleague, who is now her guardian.  But Julitet is still unable to let it all go, because her illness is steadily killing her.  Without a cure soon Juliet will die, so she's been studying her father's diary and notes looking for an answer - for a serum that will end her suffering.  Keeping a secret appartment and selling hybrid roses to buy ingredients, Juliet is horrified when people with a connection to her begin to turn up murdered.  They have a signature mark, three clawlike scratches, that are familiar to Juliet.  Turns out not everything died on that island and something is more obsessed with her than ever.  If he can't have Juliet, no one can.  Can Juliet find the killer before Scotland Yard does?  And will the situation turn out to be even worse than she ever dreamed?
     This book was a slight bit of a slow starter, with Juliet by herself trying to hybridize roses, and come up with a cure for herself - in secret.  I enjoyed the quite obvious allusions between Shepherd's story and the original tale of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  It's really hard to write a comprehensive review that compares the two though, unless I want to give out some pretty major spoilers!  The murders were pretty gruesome and the identity of the killer, while pretty obvious from the start to people who read book #1, still had some puzzle pieces missing in regards to motive, etc.  There is a really great camraderie between Lucy and Juliet, who have renewed their frienship now that Juliet is back in the city and society.  They are both involved with the murderer (knowingly and unknowingly), have connections to the experiments of Juliet's father and are connected to up and coming Scotland Yard Detective John Newcastle.  Probably my least favorite part of this book was the love triangle.  It carried over from the first book, and while I could understand it somewhat, it did make Juliet loose some backbone when making decisions for herself.  There are some points where she gets downright pathetic about it too.  Probably the least historically realistic to me was Juliet engaging in premarital sex.  It's the Victorian Era!!!  And she absolutely NEVER struck me as the type to do something like that, even if she was a societal outcast.  Just way out of character for me.  Overall I greatly enjoyed this book and it was an extremely strong follow up to The Madman's Daughter.  The plot twist at the end of the book was completely unexpected, had me shaking in surprise and slapping myself on the forhead saying D'oh! for not realizing it sooner!

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, Balzar + Bray (Imprint of Harper Collins), via Edelweiss.  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication date is January 28th, 2014.*

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